‘Fernando the Third’
A clever corporate weasel who devises a way of charging the birds a set fee to fly across a particular patch of sky, that he falsely claims to own. At first they all flatly refuse, but eventually a climate of fear ensues and several ‘disappearances’ occur. They each eventually agree to pay the fee in order to secure safe passage and peace of mind. This continues for several months before it is brought to the attention of the great all seeing ‘Moltar’.
Following two years of spiritual redirection, Fernando’s life takes on a very different course, and he eventually pays back every penny of his former levies to the migrating birds. He also sets up a sanctuary for those who still remain traumatised by the whole episode.
By way of further recompense, Fernando holds lavish balls on the last Saturday of every month and invites everyone. The Mariachi Mice are always booked to play, and he provides an enormous trunk of dressing up clothes that everybody fights over. Very occasionally you might see Moltar doing his ‘backward slide’ on the dancefloor… but only if you make sure you serve him a pastis beforehand.
‘The Mariachi Mice’
This band of mice live and perform in a top hat… comprising of three fake Mexican brothers from Croydon; ‘Sancho’,’Poncho’and ‘Banjo’, who play alongside a truly authentic mouse of Mexican lineage named ‘Ian.’
(his parents were illegal immigrants who didn’t want to draw too much attention to their past.) The mice wheel their top hat from field to field, opening it up as a miniature stage each night. They play and sing truly joyful and beautiful tunes, and their jovial onstage antics are legendary… however the minute the stage door is closed they fight like teenage bandits.
They pinch and kick, spit and curse, and each simultaneously threatens to leave the band. Ian is the anchor, and usually takes a walk outside and sits himself under the shade of a spring daffodil or an autumn fern, with the sky and his guitar and his emptiness… until the brothers return to pleasantries and he can finally go to bed.
‘Old Salt’ and ‘Luna de Sancha’
When the sea faring parakeet ‘Old Salt’ met his exotic wife to be ‘Luna de Sancha’, she was a glamourous showgirl and he sat in the lowly ranks of the audience, next to the orchestra pit. She was completely mesmerising, with thirty different coloured feathers and a dance move to match each one, and he just sat and stared and drank in each one of those colours with his half closed eyes. The room no longer smelt of old smoke and brandy, there weren’t a hundred loose tongued seadogs surrounding him and best of all, he wasn’t watching her dance like everyone else… she was skating across an endless sky of silk and taking his aching heart with her in every step.
They married the following week.
She could lead him anywhere and everwhere and he would follow, and in the subsequential years to come she did. She would lead him with her sweet soft plume and her orphan eyes. She would lead him always with the promise of closeness… but with a distant shore in mind. She would lead him with the sweep of a feather that held the power of a chain. She would lead him away from his younger self into her own image of an older self… so slowly that he began to move like a man who splits rocks all day.
The problem with ‘Old Salt’ was that he was less ‘eye candy’ and more ‘eye chewing gum’ to Luna. He’d become flavourless and tough and Luna was just biding time waiting for an oportunity to get rid of him.
He would never discover that half of her exotic feathers were glued on once a fortnight at ‘Bibi’s Salon’, or that she had transferred money to an account in Jersey, or that the French chef from ‘La Napoule’ had remained on her flightpath every summer.
But he would continue to love Luna for the rest of his life to eternity.
‘Blondie the Bat’
Blondie is a bat who has spent the majority of her life living in the bra of a lady called Ms. Evangeline, in a small Dorset village. It was a wonderfully warm place to sleep, nestled into Evie’s bosom, and covered in several thermal layers of merino wool. She would hear the soothing sound of Evie’s heartbeat, constant and reassuring like a metronome. In time she would come to learn that there would be only two things that would change this rhythm….A flight of stairs and a sighting of ‘Fernando Borondo’ in his seal grey suit. The latter was always followed by a spreading warmth and a marked change in Evie’s voice. Blondie couldn’t really understand why Evie laughed at absolutely nothing in particular whenever Fernando was near. But it brightened the both of their afternoons, and Fernando was always very gracious.
This blissful existence took a dramatic turn one bitterly cold winter, when her beloved Evie was struck down with pneumonia, of which she never recovered. Unable to understand the greater world that she was suddenly thrown into, Blondie took to hiding inside the grim hollow of a deceased tree. It is here that she hung herself, as a hermit, for six long years, before finally surfacing one Spring.
There follows a vibrant spree of street art in ‘The Field’ that, though it has not been confirmed outright, looks suspiciously like the work of a certain feisty female bat, with an anger and a spirit that momentarily rocks and shakes the peace within.
‘Thor and Marguerita’
Thor and Marguerita were married shrews who dressed in the same clothes and spent all their time with each other. They found it easy to enjoy everything they did together, even really dull things like buying onions and playing dominos. Their happiness was short lived, however, as Thor became the victim of a sudden mysterious illness that robbed him of his life, and Marguerita of their future together.
Following her husband’s death, she was so stricken with grief that she spent four days as a mute. When her voice eventually did return she picked up the telephone and called two people; a local embalmer, and a waxwork sculptor. She had formed a plan in her silence that she believed might really help her in her time of mourning.
First she sold her wedding ring to pay for Thor to be immortalized in the form of a lifelike wax sculpture. Then she sold her engagement ring to pay for him to be beautifully preserved in embalming oils. A week later, she placed the waxwork sculpture into an open coffin filled with spring flowers, and held a very public funeral. She sat and watched the whole event from a carved wooden pew, with the embalmed body of her late husband propped up next to her throughout.
Everybody admired the beautiful ‘wax sculpture’ that sat beside Marguerita, and everybody thought it a fitting tribute to her wonderful husband, whom they burned on a funeral pyre piled high with scented wood. Nobody noticed that he burnt ever so quickly.
Marguerita would live with her ‘sculpture’ for a whole year, talking to him just as if he were alive still. She served him dinner with a napkin placed under his chin, and she cried with him on lonely nights. She would sit and talk for hours and she would remember all the opinions that Thor would share with her, and how they would open up the world for her through his eyes… and she would look at his eyes now and wish that they could open again, just for a moment. On these days she would feel that life had taken away the one person that she wanted to talk to more than anyone else…and that life was intolerably cruel… and that she was completely alone.
One day Moltar, keen to offer his support, paid her a visit. Marguerita found it difficult to sit still, and Moltar knew immediately that this was no wax sculpture sat next to him on the couch. But for one of the few times in his life, Moltar didn’t know what to say or how to act. He deliberately asked for more cake whilst he tried to come up with something helpful to say to this poor shrew. Eventually he stood up and thanked her sincerely for her hospitality, and then spoke in his softest voice, holding both her hands very gently “My love….one day you will find the strength to let go.” With that he left and he never returned. Even for Moltar, who had seen so much in his lifetime, and had grown so wise… this was disturbing.
Several months later, residents of ‘The Field’ learned that Marguerita had left one night, with only a small suitcase, and that she simply didn’t have room for all her possessions in her new home.
Over a hundred years were to pass before something curious happened… Some young mice were playing in the woods, when they stumbled upon a very small door set into the stump of an old deceased tree. The door was jammed shut, but they each in turn were able to peer through a tiny letterbox into a half lit chamber within. There inside they found what appeared to be a beautiful sculpture of a young shrew, dressed in a knitted jumper and a pair of cowboy boots, surrounded by hundreds of dried flowers and berries, jewels and gems. There were all sorts of other objects surrounding him too: a pipe, a silk paisley bow tie, a yellow ukulele, some painted stones and nuts, ‘Mariachi Mice’ records, dominos, leather bound books, and a lovely, well worn red hat. But the most peculiar were the hundreds of letters in mauve sealed envelopes stacked up high against the door, decorated with little kisses and poems and all signed ‘Marguerita’, in faded blue ink.